Chapter 05 - Service of Process
Chapter 05 - Service of Process
When an affidavit is filed that personal service cannot be made upon the defendant within American Samoa, service may be made by publication in any of the following cases:
(1) actions involving real property in American Samoa or any right, title, interest or estate therein, including, without limiting the foregoing, actions brought for:
(A) the sale, recovery or partition of real property;
(B) specific performance of a contract of sale covering real property;
(C) foreclosure under any mortgage, lien or other encumbrance or charge upon real property; or
(D) quieting of title to real property;
(2) an action brought against a nonresident of American Samoa or a foreign corporation, having in American Samoa property or debts owing to such defendant and sought to be appropriated in any way;
(3) all action where the defendant, being a resident of American Samoa, has departed therefrom with intent to delay or defraud his creditors, or to avoid the service of a notice, or keeps himself concealed in American Samoa with like intent;
(4) where the action is for a divorce or annulment, or for a change or modification of a decree of divorce or annulment, if the defendant is a nonresident of American Samoa or his residence is unknown.
(a) After the complaint or petition has been filed with the court in which the matter is pending, notice shall be published once each month for 2 consecutive months in some newspaper or publication of general circulation, posted in the front of the court house in the village of Fagatogo, for the same period, and mailed by registered United States mail to the defendant at his last known address. If at any time there is no newspaper or other publication of general circulation in American Samoa available, and such fact is so found by the court, notice by posting and mails shall be sufficient.
(b) The notice shall contain and inform the defendant of the following:
(1) the name of the plaintiff:
(2) the name of the court wherein the action is brought and that the petition is on file in the court:
(3) a statement in general terms of the cause or causes of action, and, if it is for money, the amount, and that unless the defendant appears and defends within 2 months and 10 days from the date of the first publication, which date shall be published as a part of the notice, a default will be entered against him and judgment or decree rendered thereon.
Proof of service by publication shall be by affidavit of the publisher to which affidavit shall be attached the notice clipped from a copy of the newspaper or publication in which the publication was made. If the publication was made by mailing, affidavit of the person mailing the notice, with a copy of the notice mailed, shall be made. In either event, affidavit of posting shall also be made by the person posting such notice in the front of the Court House. The affidavits required by this section must be made before a default can be taken.
Publication is not necessary if a copy of the order has been served upon the defendant in person or by registered mail at least [2 months and 10 days] before trial, and in case of service by registered mail an official return receipt signed by the defendant is attached to the affidavit of service.